Enable YouTube Background Playback for Free on Android Nougat
YouTube is a great place for all your mainstream audio and video needs. Too bad you can't simply plug in your headphones, choose a playlist, and put your phone back in your pocket. Oh wait, you can... with YouTube Red and its absurd $9.99/month pricing for ad-free and background playback.
Seriously, ten bucks a month for two useful features? No thanks. It's a good thing Android is my daily driver, because we can get all of that for free, which is how we roll.
If you're running Android KitKat, Lollipop, or Marshmallow, then you know there are Xposed modules which allow you to block ads on YouTube and enable background playback. However, Xposed hasn't been updated to support Android Nougat yet, so here's a way to enable YouTube background playback without it.
In order to force YouTube to enable background playback on Android 7.0+, we'll simply need to "patch" the app. To do that, start by installing an app called Lucky Patcher, then open it up and grant root permissions.
Here comes the fun part... actually patching YouTube. When prompted, allow Lucky Patcher to update so that the latest patches will be available to you.
Next, select YouTube from the list, then hit "Open Menu of Patches." You might get a system application warning if YouTube is installed as a system app, so hit "Yes" if prompted. From here, tap "Custom patch," then hit "Apply." When you're done, just wait a couple of seconds as YouTube gets patched.
Tip: You can also block most ads on YouTube with Lucky Patcher—just use the "Remove Google Ads" option from this same menu.
Open up YouTube, select your song, playlist, or video of choice, and hit the back button until you're out of the app. YouTube background playback will immediately kick into effect, and a persistent notification will allow you to seek tracks (you can dismiss the Background play one—it'll only show up the first time you use background playback). Enjoy!